Headline: Seniors shine as Eagle Valley wins a pair | VailDaily.com

Headline: Seniors shine as Eagle Valley wins a pair

Byline: David L'Heureux

The two were being honored on Senior Night for their commitment to the Devils’ hoops program during the last four years.

After a sluggish start to the game that led to an 8-6 first quarter, Wood and Jagger picked it up on both ends of the court and jumpstarted their teammates and the game.

“I was real proud of our seniors tonight,” said coach Phil Cain. “They really stepped up and helped our team get on track early.”

Olathe came out and played a very physical game underneath, but could not slow down the Devils once their transition game picked up. The Devils 2-1-2 defense frustrated the Pirates, who committed multiple turnovers resulting in easy baskets for the home team, which was not afraid to get out and run the court.

Midway through the second, Olathe was whistled for a technical foul on top of a one-and-one situation, giving Wood a chance at four free throws. The senior converted all four, extending the Devils’ lead to 10. Eagle Valley would never look back after that.

“The guy fouled me and didn’t agree with the call, so he started mouthing off to the ref,” said Wood. “That gave me those four free throws.”

At halftime, the Devils held a commanding 29-13 lead.

The second half would contain more of the same for Olathe, whose inability to get quality shots gave them no legitimate chance to get back in it. The Devils’ defense simply stifled them all night long.

“Our defense was key in this game,” said Cain. “It’s also going to be important for us in the district tournament. We need to keep our game scores in the 50s if we expect to have any success.”

While this night was a special one for Wood and Jagger, who had 10 and 16 points respectively, it also showed a glimpse of the future with the Devils younger players chipping in.

Sophomore Clayton Forsyth was good for 10 points, Juniors Jerad Schlegel and Dillon Barkman provided steady play at the point and in the pivot, and Manuel Varela parlayed some excellent defensive hustle into easy baskets on the other end.

“If these guys keep practicing and playing the way they have been, then the future is very bright for them next year,” said Jagger. “I think we are leaving behind a good foundation.”

The Devils’ bench came out and put the finishing touches on the victory, and Jagger and Wood left the game to a noisy ovation from the crowd.

While the future is bright, there is still some basketball left in the 2002-03 campaign. The Devils recent string of victories have them looking at a six or seven seed in the tournament depending on the results of some other Slope action last night.

“We like our chances against anyone,” said Cain. “If we keep up the good D, I think we could make a run.”

Lady Devils roll Pirates

It was Senior Night for the Eagle Valley High School girls as well, and it was the Lady Devils’ seniors who led their team to a 56-36 thrashing of Olathe last night.

The honorees on Senior Night were guards Sarah Brubeck, with four points, and Laura Sandoval, who had three points. And, in the paint, forward Brooke Baughfman, with 15 points, and center Diane Mayne, who contributed five points, were both unstoppable.

The defense set the tone for the game by holding Olathe to a single basket in the first quarter and a 15-2 advantage after one.

“We really shut them down on defense,” said coach Mike Vidakovich. “The girls played with great intensity and emotion and never let up.”

Perhaps they were inspired by the senior leadership because the Lady Devils’ underclassmen were not to be left out. Junior Trista Sandoval played a great game, forcing turnovers and pushing the tempo on offense. And, sophomore Alex Amsden played ferocious defense to go with some timely three-point shooting on the other end.

“Trista and Alex both had great games tonight,” said Vidakovich. “They are definitely key players for us at both ends.”

The team effort resulted in a 41-18 margin at the end of the third. The rest of the game was somewhat of a coronation for the seniors playing their last home game of their careers.

Perhaps the biggest basket of the game came from Sandoval, whose 3 from downtown completed what was an amazing recovery from a Homecoming night car crash. The crowd was on its feet as Sandoval’s shot hit nothing but net.

“That was great to see for Laura,” said Vidakovich. “Had she not had her accident she would have started for us this year. To see her cap her recovery with that shot tonight was really special.”

Congratulations Laura.

David L’Heureux is a freelance writer who based in Vail.

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